Festivals are great! If you haven't been to one then I'd definitely recommend going but be warned, your first festival will be a complete shock to the system.
Can I just say how much I love the photo in this post? It was my favourite photo from that festival. It was at Download 2014 and it was taken right before Avenged Sevenfold came on stage. What a night that was! Look how tragic my hair was though.... it was raining on and off all night....
Anyway, back to the point! Here are my tips on surviving a long weekend of mud and music:
- Plan ahead. Write a list of items you'll need before you go and check it a few times over, just incase you miss anything. Here is a post I wrote on what I took to Download last year.
- Take a warm, water proof sleeping bag. Believe me, it gets freezing at night time and being cold and damp all weekend is no fun.
- Don't camp next to a walk way. I camped near one at my first ever Download and I had a few drunk people take head dives into my tent.
- Don't pitch your tent at the bottom of a hill or on really lumpy ground. Another lesson I learned at my first ever Download. If it rains you'll wake up in the middle of a swamp.
- Running with the tent theme... Don't camp near the party section of the festival. Another lesson learned. You'll be lying in your tent and hear the parties going on all night and first thing in the morning. I was a grumpy, tired wee soul at my first festival...
- Don't pitch your tent next to the toilets. Thankfully I didn't make this mistake! They stink, stay away from them.
- Final tent tip! Try and learn where your tent is. I was so thankful for my Scotland flag on my tent during my first Download. All the tents end up morphing into one, especially at night so make sure you can point yours out.
- Keep valuables with you at all times. That means sleeping with them in your sleeping bag (its not unheard of to be robbed in your tent while you sleep) and taking them with you into the arena during the gigs. If you can leave it at home then leave it. Only bring valuables you absolutely need.
- No matter how hot it is, don't wear open shoes. They might look cute but do you want to wade through shit (literally) when the toilets over flow? Or through the millions of uneaten chips or the oceans of mud? No. Keep the sandals for the beach.
- Take an endless amount of antibacterial hand gel. Festivals are disgusting and bug infested. Do you want a dodgy tummy while you're in a tent thats a 10 minute walk away from a toilet?
- Keeping with the toilet theme, watch what you eat. My festival diet is chips, chocolate and ice cream so I'm relatively safe. Those of you that want to inhale a burger after a long day of drinking then choose your food stall wisely. They are mostly over priced shit that don't cook the food long enough. Think about that plus the 30 minute toilet queue....
- Take a little mirror. Vain, yes. But I like checking that my eyeliner hasn't melted down to my chin during the course of the day. I take my compact everywhere but I was extra grateful for it at festivals.
- Dry shampoo, hair accessories and sunglasses are your friend. Cherish them, they'll stop you from looking like you've been on the razz for 10 days straight. Well, you'll still look like that... but you'll have hidden it a bit. Call it camouflage.
- Chewing gum and mints never go wrong.
- Neither does perfume and deodorant. Some festival goers need to learn this.
- A backpack is your best handbag choice ever. Its big enough to store everything you'll need for the day (you'll need to walk miles back to your tent otherwise) and it can be swung over your back with no effort.
- In aforementioned backpack, take toilet paper. The festival loos are minging and not all of them have loo roll. I also took antibacterial wipes and disposable latex gloves for when I had to use the toilets, but that is mainly because I'm mental and couldn't bear to actually touch anything inside portaloos.
- Take plasters and pain killers. You'll probably need them and they cost a fortune to buy in the camp site.
- Decide on a meeting point incase you and your friends split up. All of our phone signals came and went at Download so this was a little back up incase we lost one another.
- Take a jumper, gloves and a scarf into the arena with you. By the time the headliners come on it'll be cold and it'll ruin your experience if you're shivering all night.
- Take a little fold up rain coat too. Just incase. Primark do great ones at a low cost.
- Plan which bands you and your friends want to see. It sucks but you all may need to split up and go to separate stages if you all want to see different bands. Its easier to arrange everything if you know time slots and stages.
- Take plastic bags or bin bags with you. I take plastic bags to sort out dirty clothes / keep things dry in my backpack. I take a binbag to sit on incase the grass gets wet. Standing for 12 hours isnt fun but then again neither is a muddy damp bum. Its much easier than carrying around little camping seats! I don't know how people can be bothered carrying those around all weekend.
- Fuck it. Fuck everything. You'll look like shit and feel like shit by the end of the weekend but fuck it. You'll have fun and that's the main thing!
- My final tip - be safe and have a great time!